Ramblings of a Tampa engineer

So I've taken a test. Another time I'm not allowed to use my expensive calculator. The reason is simple as its told to me. "You have to learn the basics and the methods without relying on the calculator to do it." While that has some truth to the matter, lets examine it.

  1. You are a teacher. You probably didn't grow up with a fancy calculator. (Hell, either did I. The TI-89 came out right as I hit college). Are people in the real world not allowed to use calculators I asked.

Teacher responds. "You have to be prepared to handle things and understand the concepts. The calculator is irreverent."

2) "The calculator just does the math for you" I say. "I still have to know how to plug inputs into it."

Teacher responds. "You then don't understand the process. You just understand a mysterious output based on what you gave it."

3) "While that could be true, it's not exactly easy to input some of these complicated functions into the calculator. Maybe the bias against the calculator is that you don't understand how to use it"

Teacher angrily responds. "You will embarrass yourself in the work field if you don't understand basic math because all you know is how to use a calculator".

4) "Well..Every question I ask at my workplace is just redirected to a book or Google, so I don't think many people remember this stuff. They might remember things that'll be using in life, like a calculator."

"Do you want a 0? Give me your calculator.


So the conversation is over. I look like quite a smart-ass in the dialog, but the point still stands. High School prepared me for College, and College should prepare me for the work field in whatever field I want. Yet, we are using methods that I haven't seen used in my work field in 10 years.